[It’s not often we write the BackPage on a single resource, rather than a theme, but track with me for a sec’ — writing about this single resource *is* writing about a theme. You’ll see.] This past week, Werner Mischke dropped us a copy of his new yet-to-be-published study guide, “The Beauty of Partnership Study Guide: Standard Edition.” It’ll be published by MissionOne directly, and it’s a tribute to several innovative and relevant focal points. See if you agree:

*** It’s concise — In 61 pages, they provide the entire study guide. There are tons of fill-in-the-blank exercises for participants. Werner has made it really easy to make this course interactive.

*** It’s complete — In 140 *additional* pages, Werner packages all the readings you’ll need (some top-notch resources, by the way). These are all “in the back of the book,” so to speak — so this is one volume. It doesn’t *feel* like 200 pages in all. It feels *thin*, but it *is* 200 pages. (Several folks are trying to convince him of a $39.95 selling price. But we think we have him convinced to hold it at $24.95. But the thing is — he has to pay royalties on much of the 140 pages of extra readings… plus the simple costs of shipping *and*, the guy has been working on this pretty much full-time for the last 18 months. So – what would you charge?) On top of all this, he provides a companion website with introductory videos on every topic. So — it’s like having a DVD in the back of the book, without the disk. And the website helps form community — plus possible ongoing mentoring/coaching from the author and compadres. Gotta love the format. Smart.

*** It’s critical — These themes are biblical … and they are relevant. Godly Character (Servanthood and Listening), Cultural Intelligence (Trust and “Both/And”), and Organizatioal Competence (Accountability and Appreciation). These three major components (and accompanying 6 objectives) are arguably some of the most core issues in successful partnerships today.

I’m looking forward to pulling together a starter class using this book. My guess is — it’s going to be very effective. Werner has made it too easy for us. Lots of diagrams, drawings, and notations to call our attention to the central stuff, with clear “take-away” lessons to learn all along the way.

Frankly, I’m left with that “Rats, I wish I’d written this” feeling.


Way to go Werner.

Want to get a taste? Take a look at the current online offerings (keeping in mind that the current site is for a slightly different course). They have been *big-time* unselfish to put all this stuff online anyway, so you might as well get a taste of it. The true Beauty of Partnership site will be even better. (This domain currently forwards to a different but similar site.) …


Once this book is ready for orders, you’ll hear about it right here on Brigada. In the meantime, we have a dozen or so people who will be beginning a beta test of the study … and we’ll be reporting how it goes, along the way. Currently, Werner is estimating June for final roll-out. Shew. The *format* is as radical as the content.  Hats off Werner. Gotta love it.